What do Scheifele and MacKinnon’s second contracts mean for Sean Monahan?

Sean Monahan is a 21-year-old centre who has played three seasons in the NHL. Over that time, he’s scored 159 points through 237 games. He also just so happens to need a new contract – and, considering what he’s accomplished so far, it’s probably going to be a big one.

How big? Well, why don’t we ask Mark Scheifele (23-year-old centre, three NHL seasons played, 145 points in 227 games) and Nathan MacKinnon (20-year-old centre, three NHL seasons played, 153 points in 218 games played), because they both just got new deals of their own: eight years, $6.125 million AAV and seven years, $6.3 million AAV, respectively.

So probably max (or close to) term and at least $6 million for Monahan. Got it.

Side by side by side comparison

These are three young centres who have all spent roughly the same amount of time in the NHL, give or take some games here and there due to injury or general progression. That’s why they make such great comparables, especially when trying to determine the future contract of the only player who doesn’t have one yet.

So let’s dig a little deeper on them.

Player Goals Per Game Points Per Game ES PPG PP PPG CF% rel ZSR rel
Sean Monahan .338 .671 .468 .194 -0.68 +5.70
Mark Scheifele .256 .639 .511 .128 +1.22 -1.18
Nathan MacKinnon .271 .702 .514 .183 +3.27 +5.47

At immediate glance, Monahan is easily the best goal scorer. (He’ll hit 100 next season; Scheifele and MacKinnon would have to score twice as much as him to do the same.) He’s an effective point producer, too: right in between Scheifele and MacKinnon.

Dig a little deeper, though, and Monahan comes out looking a little less rosy. He relies more on the power play to score than his comparables. His possession tanks compared to theirs, and that’s with him having the best zone starts of the three.

Does this mean Monahan isn’t about to get paid? Of course not. Will these numbers influence his final cap hit? I have no idea. But ideally, he doesn’t get a cap hit higher than MacKinnon’s – even if he does get eight years (and therefore, an additional UFA year) on his second contract.

Where’s the bar?

Before Scheifele and MacKinnon signed, it was probably Filip Forsberg. He’s played a similar amount of time in the NHL, and is the higher scorer with .731 points per game – but he plays on the wing, not centre. He recently signed a six-year deal with a $6 million AAV.

Based on these three recent signings of players who have shown similar base results to Monahan, that six-year, $6 million deal is likely the absolute minimum we can expect for him. At this rate, though, his cap hit is probably going to be higher than $6 million – and it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see him get the full eight years from the Flames, even with UFA term being a factor.

I’d expect his cap hit to be higher than Scheifele’s (he’s scored more than he has and has had more success at a younger age), and hope it would be less than MacKinnon’s – say it comes in at $6.2 million – but wouldn’t be surprised to see it equal or exceed his, depending on how many UFA years he gives up.


The Gaudreau factor

The Jets still have to re-sign Jacob Trouba. The Avalanche still have to re-sign Tyson Barrie.

The Flames still have to re-sign Johnny Gaudreau, and he’s the best player of the three, without question. And if he and Monahan want matching contracts, that could completely skew things.

If they end up with matching deals, it’ll likely end up with Monahan being overpaid and Gaudreau underpaid. That could see Monahan getting more than MacKinnon – but if it results in Gaudreau getting a cheaper deal than he otherwise should, then it doesn’t exactly hurt the Flames. Monahan and Gaudreau are a pairing that’s likely to stick around for a while, and their combined cap hits may be the priority here, as opposed to individual ones.

  • cberg

    Yup, we’ve got the figures pretty much surrounded, just need to get the deals done. C’mon BT, JG & SM….. sooner would be nice so the team can make a few minor tweaks over the summer, and you guys can get prepped for early hockey in September and do us all proud.

    • Kevin R

      Maybe when they refer to matching contracts they are referring to term. So lets just make both of these kids happy, give them 8 year 50mill for Monahan & 8 year $56 mill for Johnny! They will be both 8 years here together & at some freaking point, how much more is 56 mill over $50 mill & would either of them be unhappy? Just wish we get our $50mill dollar men signed & done with.

    • supra steve

      I guess that depends on what Johnny is looking for out of his career/life. If he wants/needs the maximum money to the detriment of his team mates income, then perhaps he will hold out for $8mil X 8 or more. If he follows Gio’s example and decides he can somehow live comfortably on something closer to $6.5mil X 8, then that leaves a bit more money to spread around to other players in the coming years.

      It’s not like the Calgary Flames will not be spending to the cap for the foreseeable future, so any extra $$ he takes DOES come right out of the pool of money for his mates. Hopefully he sees this and gets out his calculator and decides max dollars for Johnny (and Monny) = weaker supporting cast in Calgary.

      Alternatively he can try to do what Towes/Kane did in Chicago…ruined that team’s future.

  • cunning_linguist

    Monahan’s counting stats overinflate his value to the team. He will sign a similar contract to MacKinnon and it will be an overpay.

    Johnny on the other hand, is as good as his numbers, lock that kid up for whatever it takes.

    • Thunder1

      Monahan has out-performed MacKinnon since their draft year in nearly every single offensive category available to measure.

      Neither one was drafted because of their perceived defensive attributes.

      Monahan will not be an overpay in comparison to MacKinnon if he ends up signing for similar length and term.

      In fact, considering the draft order of the two, it looks to be quite the opposite. Monahan is shaping up to be a bit of a steal.

    • Thunder1

      Also, you usually have interesting and well thought out comments that I find worthwhile to read and sometimes respond to.

      However, IMHO, your handle is juvenile. You should change it.

    • Big Ell

      Man, what does Monahan have to do? He is already a monster even if he is not a 5×5 monster yet, he scores on the PP at a nice rate and not everybody does. He has exceeded expectations. He’s arguably the first or second best player from his draft class. He is 21! When was the last time we had a centre of his quality? Life is good.

      • Truculence

        Yep. Plus, you can’t really compare Schiefle’s stats to Mony’s cuz the latter joined the NHL in his 18-19 year, while Schiefle’s first was his 20-21.

        Plus, Schielfe wasn’t thrown into a top-line role in Winnipeg in his second year, which is also significant.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      You want slow. Watch Tkachuk. My goodness, he is considered slow by junior standards. How is that going to translate into NHL standards? Possibly grit and determination can compensate somewhat for being slow of foot, but my biggest concern with him remains his skating.

      • The Sultan

        You want slow? Watch Lucic. He isn’t considered a spring chicken anymore, you know. He’ll be 28 this year making 7 million a year for the next 7 years with a no trade/movement clause… hahahaha! And you want to play him on the TOP LINE? With Connor I’m Out Of Here In Two Years McDavid? Get out of here.

        No, but seriously, get out of here. Nobody cares what the perceived opinion of a sad dejected Oilers fan is. Don’t you have a parade to be planning?

        • Armchair genius

          Hmm seems Johnny hockey wants out. Good thing you spent 4.5 on Brower whose in his 30’s. All you Phlems fans are the same, can’t see the forest through the trees! Bwahahahahahahahaha jealous cause player want to come to Alberta finally and it’s not Calgary.

      • flamesburn89

        You know who else was considered a below average skater in his draft year? John Tavares.

        These kids are 17-18 years old, still lots of development left for them, Tkachuk included.

  • RKD

    I would be surprised if Monahan got anything less than $6 million. I think BT wanted to address the goalie situation the RW position first and allocated x number of dollars for his two players. However, in waiting the fact that Schiefele and MacKinnon signed for what they did has already set the market place. Had BT signed his big boys first he still would have money to bring in Elliott, Johnson and Brouwer. Heck, he may have gotten Monahan at a little less. Monahan can now leverage those deals in his favour. They can’t really wave possession metrics in his face. Matching deals is wrong. Gaudreau’s level is much higher than Monahan and should be paid more. If they want matching deals than BT will have move out some bodies asap. I still have faith BT can get it done.

    • supra steve

      None of these recent deals are shocking, the money and term are right around what we have all been expecting. For months the $14mil/yr (or less) number for Johnny/Monny has been “out there” and I can’t see where any of these recent deals have changed that.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      How come no one has raised the topic that maybe one or both of Gaudreau and Monahan have slowed the process. Perhaps Tre was prepared to sign them in March or April or even in June, but either one or both said, “Hold the phone.”

      One reason for this is what we have seen in the past several days with the likes of Jones and Mac and Scheif being extended. By waiting to see what they got, Gaudreau and Monahan pretty much know where the low water mark is.

      Another reason completely unrelated to money is term and are the players and the Flames on the same wavelength as far as how long they should be Flames?

      I also wonder more so in the case of Gaudreau than Monahan is if he really wants to play in the sticks for the bulk of his hockey career. Argument can still be made that if he had played his rookie season in an eastern hockey hotbed, he would have won ROY. Loved Tkachuk’s answer on draft day when he was picked by the Flames and the reporter asked him what he knew about the Flames, and he said not much as he heard very little about them while playing down east.

      Given the choice, would Gaudreau prefer to play down east closer to family as he does come from a tight-knit family? His reluctance to sign long term with the Flames might be holding up the contracts getting done.

      As for both players saying how much they want to remain Flames, I don’t doubt they are telling the truth, but considering they are classified as RFAs in a very unionized workplace, they really have short leashes and to balk about playing for the Flames would be a terrible PR move and bring a lot of crap to them that they might not care to deal with at this time in their careers. There are very few superstar players like Hall of Famer Eric Lindros who not only told the Nords not to draft him but held out when they did.

      I am very sure the Flames want to announce at the same time both players have been extended, so if one or both players are causing a delay in the deals getting done, don’t blame Tre.

      • RKD

        It’s possible but they also maybe wanting to wait until closer to August too. BT kept saying they don’t play until October and the Flames are in a unique position by having to sign two guys at the same time. Playing closer to home is bunk and mostly garbage, Stamkos is from Markham and he didn’t sign with the Leafs when all was said and done. Sure Gaudreau is far from his family but I think some of that comes in much later on in his career. Yeah, in the east guys like Doughty, Gio and even Gaudreau just don’t get watched as much. Gaudreau likes it here, and he’s going to be part of something special. Can’t see them holding up these deals. BT is a very calculated guy, he does things very carefully. I’m not blaming Tre for anything. These deals are very tough to negotiate to find a number and term that works for both parties.

  • Deef

    When have we known Treliving to do anything fast? A solid GM so far but man, his take your time mentality sure does make for an interesting offseason! I think it was smart for him to sign everyone but. The cap remaining number is nice and clear to Johnny and Sean. And I really hope these players take a discount to some degree. Breaking the bank on two players won’t help them or us get a cup.

    • Stu Cazz

      Jeffster…$8M is rediculious….let’s pay him that once he leads his team deep into the playoffs or perhaps if he leads the Flames to a Stanley Cup championship…..

  • freethe flames

    I’ve said for weeks now that Johnny comparable is Tarasenko @7.5m x 6/7 and Monahan’s numbers will be Barkov/Forsberg+ numbers; these two contracts probably put in around $6.25m x7/8.

  • NHL is results driven, and Monny has provided better results in terms of counting stats than these other comps. Yes his possession stats need some work but the bottom line is he has out produced the other players mentioned here. It’s probably safe to assume that his numbers improve in both of these areas as time goes on.

    I think he gets $6.5M AAV, 6 – 8 years.

  • freethe flames

    As we await the deals to be done there is not much else BT can do as these two contracts will determine how much cap space he has left. My great hope is that while he is working on these contracts he finds a trading partner for either Wides or Engs.

    I also wonder if part of the hold up is tying to figure out a way to structure Johhny’s contract that keeps Gio(the captain) as the highest paid flame for a couple of more years.

  • KACaribou

    Monahan was a #6 pick for a reason. If he had all these amazing attributes everyone thinks he should then maybe he would have gone #1.

    He’s not the perfect player, but he’s good in his own ways. He compensates for his short-comings like everyone else does. He’s got a great hockey brain, and there’s no stat for that.

    But he was a tremendous pick at #6. A lot of re-drafters are saying he should have gone 1 or 2 in retrospect.

  • PrairieStew

    Late to this comment thread.

    I wonder if Treliving is thinking out of the box a bit. Everyone is advocating signing them both to 8 year deals and looking at anywhere from $6m to $8m per year to do that. Why not refrain from “buying up” those three years of UFA status and sign them only to five year deals with the selling point to both that at 26 and 27 they will be hitting the UFA market.

    Under RFA status Monahan is worth $3m now and hopefully worth $6m in five years. That’s five years for $22 million – $4.5 per year. In locking him up for years 6-8 his agent is going to ask for $10m per year. That makes the 8 year deal worth $52 or $6.5 per year. You can do the same math for Gaudreau except add $500 k per year in the first five, and $1m per in the UFA years. His five year deal is $25m or 5 per year – his 8 year deal is $58m or $7.25 per year. You can repeat this exercise next year for Bennett.

    The protection for the Flames is that if one of these guys stalls in their development ( see Eberle, J) you are not stuck with a very expensive piece for 8 years. If they both are awesome, you might have to make a choice in 5 years and only retain one of them.

    If the Flames are going to be Stanley Cup contenders with Monahan and Gaudreau it will likely be in the next 5 years. 90% of the time the best players on Cup winning teams are under the age of 28. Having Monahan at $6.5 per season instead of $11 in 6 of 7 years time sounds great, but does that trump the advantage of having him at $4.5 for the next 5 years instead of $6m per year ?

  • ChrisR

    Monahan @ 8yrs 6.5 million per. Gaudreau eight years @ 7.5 mil per. Someone mentioned on here that he should win a Stanley cup first but you know there pay day is coming. Tarasenko set the market for gaudreau